President’s Message by Jan Eriksen

Thanks for a great year!

We’re coming to the end of the academic/fiscal year and our monthly meetings. It has been an outstanding year, with many wonderful projects, events, and activities. I can’t let it conclude without thanking the many amazing AAUW-La Crosse members who made it all happen.

First was the AAUW Art Fair on the Green, July 28-29, 2018. It made even more money than usual, thanks to Chair Carol Robertson and the countless other volunteers who worked on the fair: Marla French, Susan Fabian, Erica Koonmen, Sharon De Cicco, Betty Kruck, Bev Bodine, Lois Gilbert, Marilyn Hempstead, Susan Johnson, Karen Landstrom, Robert Richardson, Marian Schiesser, Michele Strange, and all the members, friends, and spouses who sold tickets, worked at a concession stand, provided a break for artists, staffed the raffle, or did any of a number of other valuable tasks.

Then, as fall 2018 approached, VPs for Program Silvana Richardson and Margaret Wood planned the nine months of fabulous meetings for our branch. We were blessed with high quality, informative speakers and talented singers (Dec. 8 meeting). Our branch Secretary resigned and we were fortunate to have Jo Anne Revels agree to step in to that position. Vice President-Finance Kristen Foehner balanced the books, kept track of expenditures and income, and performed all the other treasurer duties, with assistance from Bev Bodine. VP-Membership Marilyn Hempstead recruited new members and kept us up-to-date about continuing members.

In October our Public Policy Chair chose to bow out of the position due to career and family stressors. Ann Brice kindly volunteered to fill that slot and has been a positive addition to our appointed board. At the December meeting Alice Ross and Michele Strange organized a cookie walk, assisted by Bev Bodine and Cristina Kovacs who weighed cookies and collected money. Ruth Ann Knapp also sold some of her beautifully crafted jewelry, with proceeds from all sales (cookies and jewelry) going to the Legal Advocacy Fund.

Late winter and spring 2019 have been extremely busy and active, especially for AAUW In Action (AIA). First was all the planning for and then holding the International Women’s Day Celebration on March 7. The event, chaired by Lois Gilbert, gets even more inspiring and well-attended each year. In the meantime, Erica Koonmen and Betty Kruck interviewed and trained UWL interns to assist with AAUW projects. Robert Richardson and Sharon De Cicco and their Scholarship and Grants Committee read scores of scholarship applications and made decisions on grants.

On March 27 AIA and the public policy interns sponsored a voter information table at UWL. April 2 was Equal Pay Day when AIA, with volunteers Betty Kruck, Carlene Roberts and Marilyn Hempstead and the public policy interns, hosted an information table on the UWL campus. Thanks to all of them, plus to the members who baked cookies for the day. The WINGS workshop was held on April 12, with Erica Koonmen and Andrea Hansen as organizers of the event and several branch members providing food and beverages for breakfast and lunch.

And last, Erica is planning a showing of the film “Equal Means Equal,” with a discussion following, in the auditorium of the La Crosse Public Library (Main St. ) on Wednesday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m. More info on page 5. Thank you to everyone listed here, plus many others who aren’t named. You all make me very proud of our branch!